Sooo, my son hurt my feelings.
No, he didn’t point out I have some pounds to lose or tell me that I embarrassed him. He didn’t call me a mean name or bust out the “I wish you weren’t my mom.”
I’m prepared for him to drop some of these ugly, low-blow kidisms eventually, because sooner or later every kid tries one or two out for size. They know these nasty little remarks are powerful enough to make a parent want to hide under a rock and cry for their mommies.
And, of course, they’re not sincere, but just meant to cut you to the quick and stop you in your tracks. I know all of these things and am as prepared for them as I can possibly be.
But today? Today, in a moment of disappointment, my son told me that he wished my husband and I were both working so that he could play his video games. I know this doesn’t seem as harsh as a hefty, red-faced “I hate your putrid mommy guts,” but for me, it was like a punch to the breadbasket.
You see, my husband and I both work from home as freelance professionals. We made the choice to drop the work-away lifestyles so we could be here for our children while they were little and help our two oldest through some personal struggles. And, though we knew the change in finances would mean cinching our belts a bit, we felt sacrificing the cushy salaries and vacation pay was worth it for our children. And we still do.
We live fairly comfortably–not high on the hog by any means, but we’re meeting our family’s needs and usually with a little left over.
The big difference between the old office jobs we had and the freelance work that we do now is the hours. My husband and I work a lot. Like, a lot, a lot. One of us is pounding away at the keyboard from the time we get up to the time we drop, generally seven days a week. When the kids are at school or in bed, we’re both plugging away on various projects for a large number of clients.
It’s certainly not everyone’s dream lifestyle, but we really like it. It pays the bills, we have flexibility in our schedules, are our own bosses and we actually like what we do for a living. The biggest downside is that we rarely get a chance to sit and relax together as a family outside of meals, which are always together at the table. One of us is usually working while the other is the warden…erm…I mean…loves and nurtures our cherubs.
But tonight, we decided to take a few hours in the early evening to have a family movie night, just because. My son, however, after a long, hard day at elementary school, was chomping at the bit to play video games.
Needless to say, he wasn’t pleased that we were having spontaneous quality time during primo video game hours. So, he told me he wished I was working so he could play his game like he’d planned.
It really stung. And I took it hard. Really hard. Here I was, totally stoked to be hanging out and surprising them with a family night, and the XBOX trumped me. It totally took the wind out of my sails.
After I semi-recovered, I served up the popcorn and we hung out anyway, but my warm fuzzies never made it back to 100%. It was one of those parenting moments when you think to yourself: Do they have any idea what we DO for them; Do they care or am I just the cleaning lady?
I know that my boys are still really young and my son didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, but it was blow I wasn’t prepared for. I also know I’m going to have to mom up and grow some thicker skin because this is just the beginning. Still, it doesn’t suck any less.
Have your kids ever surprised you with a low-blow out of left field? Any advice for a newbie?